Doctor Out of Job After Posts About First Lady

Anesthesiologist Michelle Herren says she didn't realize 'monkey face' was offensive
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2016 9:28 AM CST
Doctor Out of Job After Posts About First Lady
First lady Michelle Obama pauses while speaking to military families in the East Room of the White House during a preview of the 2016 holiday decor on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – A pediatric anesthesiologist at the University of Colorado's medical school is losing her job there after racist Facebook comments directed toward Michelle Obama were flagged, the Denver Post and Denver 7 report. Dr. Michelle Herren reportedly posted a photo that showed the first lady screaming with the comment, "Doesn't seem to be speaking too eloquently here, thank god we can't hear her! Harvard??? That's a place for 'entitled' folks said all the liberals!" She then added: "Monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!" Also calling it like it is: Joann Nieto, who informed the university of the comments after she saw the post stayed up for four days.

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A school spokesman said Thursday "we are beginning the process to terminate Dr. Herren's faculty appointment" (a nonpaid position), adding she has "compromised her ability" to teach and care for patients. It's not yet clear what the fate of her $363,00-a-year job at Denver Health Medical Center will be, though it confirms to Denver 7 she won't be seeing patients "until further notice." A rep adds, "We are bumping up against a First Amendment right," with the Post noting it's difficult to fire public-sector employees who make offensive remarks when they're not at work. Herren tells Denver 7 her remarks were taken "out of context" and were in response to another comment that argued people can criticize Melania Trump freely but the same isn't true for Obama. She added she had no idea "monkey face" might be considered offensive. (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)

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